Heimlich, Henry Jay 1920-

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HEIMLICH, Henry Jay 1920-

PERSONAL: Born February 3, 1920, in Wilmington, DE; son of Philip and Mary (Epstein) Heimlich; married Jane Murray, June 3, 1951; children: Philip, Peter, Janet and Elizabeth (twins). Education: Cornell University, B.A., 1941, M.D., 1943.

ADDRESSES: Home—17 Elmhurst Pl., Cincinnati, OH 45208. Office—c/o Heimlich Institute, 311 Straight St., Cincinnati, OH 45219-9957.

CAREER: Boston City Hospital, Boston, MA, intern, 1944; Veterans Administration Hospital, Bronx, NY, resident, 1946-47; Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, NY, resident, 1948-49; Triboro Hospital, Jamaica, NY, resident, 1949-50; Montefiore Hospital, New York, NY, attending surgeon, 1950-69; Jewish Hospital, Cincinnati, OH, director of surgery, 1969-77; Xavier University, Cincinnati, professor of advanced clinical sciences, beginning 1977. Diplomate of American Board of Surgery and American Board of Thoracic Surgery. Associate clinical professor at University of Cincinnati, beginning 1969. Member of board of directors of National Cancer Foundation, 1960-70, president of board, 1963-68; founder and president of Dysphagia Foundation; member of board of directors of Community Development Foundation, 1967-70, Save the Children Federation, 1967-68, and United Cancer Council, 1967-70; president, Heimlich Institute. Member of President's Commission on Heart Disease, Cancer, and Stroke, 1965. Film producer. Military service: U.S. Naval Reserve, active duty, 1944-46; became lieutenant senior grade.

MEMBER: Collegium International Chirurgiae Digestive, Pan American Medical Association, American College of Surgeons (fellow; president, 1964), American College of Chest Physicians (fellow), American College of Gastroenterology (fellow), Society of Thoracic Surgeons (founding member), American Medical Association, Society of Surgery of the Alimentary Tract, American Gastroenterological Association, Central Surgical Association, New York Society of Thoracic Surgery, Cincinnati Society of Thoracic Surgery.

AWARDS, HONORS: Award from Chinese Nationalist Government, 1944; Medaglione Di Bronze Minerva from Fourth International Festival of Medical-Scientific Films, 1961, for producing film, "Esophageal Replacement with a Reversed Gastric Tube"; Sachs Award for outstanding achievement in the field of medicine, 1976; Ohio State Governors Award, 1980; Service Award, Blue Cross of Massachusetts, 1980; humanitarian award from National Paramedics, 1980.


Postoperative Care in Thoracic Surgery, C. C. Thomas, 1962.

Surgery of the Stomach, Duodenum, and Diaphragm: Questions and Answers, American Society of Abdominal Surgeons (Melrose, MA), 1967.

Dr. Heimlich's Home Guide to Emergency Medical Situations, Simon & Schuster, 1980.

Also author of Surgery of the Stomach, Duodenum, and Diaphragm: Questions and Answers, with M. A. Cantor and C. H. Lupton, 1965. Contributor to medical journals. Member of editorial board of Emergency Medicine and Reportes Medicos.

SIDELIGHTS: Henry Jay Heimlich invented the Heimlich chest drain valve and originated the "Heimlich Maneuver," an easy technique designed to save victims choking on food or liquid. Since its introduction in 1974, the simple life-saving maneuver has saved more than 50,000 people's lives. Heimlich also founded the Heimlich Institute and expresses his desire to help create a "caring world," as he explained to Rich Van Sant in the Cincinnati Business Courier, beginning with the city where he lives, Cincinnati. Heimlich once commented to CA: "The 'Heimlich Maneuver' saves thousands of choking victims annually. My ultimate goal is to prevent death and promote well-being for the largest number of people by establishing a philosophy that will eliminate war." To the Cincinnati Business Courier writer, he said, "We are now in a position, for the first time in history, to have a caring world…. [W]hat I want is for every person to wake up in the morning and say, 'Who can I help today?'"

An inventor of many life-saving techniques and tools, Heimlich once told CA, "I have never been satisfied with existing methods and seek to simplify and improve them." For instance, he revealed to CA, "After devising an operation for replacement of the esophagus, I became aware that one such discovery helps more people than is possible in a lifetime in the operating room."

In the late 1980s, Heimlich began experimenting with malaria therapy in the treatment of Lyme disease, cancer, and AIDS. Patients are injected with a mild, curable form of malaria. For some as yet unknown reason, Heimlich claims, battling malaria helps some patients fight these illnesses. While some scientists and doctors are skeptical of the concept of malaria as treatment for AIDS and other diseases, Heimlich claims his early research has provided enough encouraging results to be worth pursuing.



Cincinnati Business Courier, March 23, 1992, Rich Van Sant, "Dr. Henry Heimlich. (world-famous inventor of the Heimlich Maneuver) (includes related article on how to administer the Heimlich Maneuver) (A Special Report: Focus On Health)," pp. 11–12; June 22, 1992, Rich Van Sant, "Dr. Henry Heimlich. (noted thoracic surgeon's social commitment) (includes related article on Heimlich Maneuver) (Health Care Guide Supplement), pp. S22–S25.

Cincinnati Enquirer, February 16, 2003, Robert Anglen, "Scientists Linked to Heimlich Investigated," p. A1; April 16, 2003, "Physicians Say Story Unfairly Portrayed Heimlich's Work," p. C7.

Palm Beach Post, Jan 8, 2003, Carolyn Susman, "Heimlich Touts Maneuver For Heart Attack," p. 3D.


Heimlich Institute, http://www.heimlichinstitute.org/ (July 22, 2005).*